Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu al-Ghait said on Sunday the summit, to take place in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Shaikh, would "try to give a push to efforts for a solution" in the strife-torn region.

Al-Ghait said Egypt wanted the "continuation and completion of the Abuja peace talks" to end the conflict between the government and rebels, which has displaced two million people since it began in February 2003.

Peace talks between the rebel groups in Darfur and the government are being sponsored by the African Union in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, but have yet to make progress.

The talks were suspended last year after accusations by each side that the other was not abiding by the terms of an April ceasefire agreement they signed in the Chadian capital, Ndjamena.

Cautionary note

A similar five-way meeting over Darfur - also without the presence of the rebel movements - was held in Libya in October but did not produce results.

The Security Council has voted to
put war crimes suspects on trial

Abu al-Ghait also indicated his discomfort with a UN Security Council resolution passed last week to bring individuals suspected of war crimes in Darfur before an international court.

"On Darfur, the resolutions adopted recently have created a situation that could create complications. ... The international community must take care not to adopt measures or resolutions ... that lead to the opposite effect of that wanted on an international, regional or Sudanese level."

The Security Council voted on Thursday 11-0 to refer Darfur suspects to the International Criminal Court, two months after an international inquiry found evidence of war crimes in the region.

Sudan has maintained that its legal system is capable of trying all individuals suspected of war crimes in Darfur.